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Fall Outlook: Presidential Race and Congressional Issues

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The “summer of Trump” has come to a close, so now we will see whether or not “the Donald” can continue his dominance of the GOP presidential field into the fall. He continues to poll well with a commanding lead over everyone else, but there are more debates coming and he has shown some difficulty in responding to questions of policy, especially on foreign affairs issues. Style-over-substance only carries a candidate so far before he or she must show some ability to tackle the issues. Look what happened to 2012 front-runner Rick Perry when he couldn’t remember the name of one federal agency. I suspect the mortar fire will increase on Donald Trump during the next debate as the other candidates all recognize they have to bring him down to have any chance of winning. Also watch the performance of Carly Fiorina who was the winner of the first “happy hour” debate. Now that CNN has refined its selected process for the debates, Carly Fiorina gets to participate in the prime time contest.

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June 2017

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While it was raining cats and dogs in May, I found it hard to think about the fact that it is actually Spring. Then along came the sharks off the Long Beach coast to take the place of the rain. Now, I must confess that I like sharks and have been on two shark feeding dives in Tahiti—which I enjoyed. In fact, one of my bucket list items is to dive with Great White Sharks along the Great Barrier Reef—in a cage. So, I don’t mind taking risks but there is a limit to just how far I will go.

That brings me to a different kind of shark. One that I will call the Legislative Shark. This shark has some of the same traits as those who swim in the ocean. They are slow and methodical in nature and can appear almost docile if you are not aware of their behavior, since they don’t reveal their intent until the time is right. Then, they can attack quickly, take a bite out of an innocent bystander and leave you again without any reservation only to look for another victim.

Of course my analogy is in reference to our recent success with AB 1506. Then the word of a Just Cause Eviction Ordinance that just passed in San Jose. Now AB 1506 will surface again and we need to be better prepared to fight this bill even harder. But the ordinance recently passed in San Jose is not good news for our industry and the renters rights advocates are firmly latching on to this news and hoping that more tenants will join in the fight for rent control. Are you ready to join in the fight against this yet? If not, there is no time to wait and we need to make sure that ALL of our owners/landlords are members of AACSC to help us in this effort. So if you know of owners who are not members, please make sure to let them know that AACSC is the Association to join and is the one organization that lobbies on their behalf.

AACSC is actively creating programs and making suggestions to improve and increase our visibility with the Long Beach City Council and within our surrounding territory. Be part of the change and stay aware and involved.

On another front, we are happy to report that the Redondo Beach group is going strong and adding members to their monthly networking group. If you are looking for a new group to add to your networking list, this is a great choice. They meet the first Tuesday of each month at the American Legion facility on Camino Real in Redondo Beach. I know I’ll be back and hope you will join us there.

Next, be sure to look at our Trade Show flyer and get your booth reservations in early. This is sure to be another sell out. We will once again be at the Long Beach Convention Center, but in a NEW location—the Arena, also known as the Pacific Ballroom! This is a great spot and we are excited to announce this.

We are also changing things up this year for our Annual Awards Breakfast. Along with a GREAT theme, we will be updating and professionalizing our judging criteria. Beginning this year, we will be sending out the applications for awards and the judging will NOT be in-house. EVERYONE is eligible to be nominated; yes, that means non-members, too! Be sure to fill out ALL of the information on the application as any incomplete submissions will not be accepted. I have been judging for other state award ceremonies around the country and it is a great way to show off what you are doing for the industry, so polish off your pens and get ready to show the best side of your accomplishments.

Finally, I hope that you had a safe Memorial Day weekend and we want to extend our appreciation to all of those who have sacrificed so much for our liberties. One final mention is to the family of former Long Beach Mayor Ernie Kell who passed away on April 29th. The outpouring of love for him and his family was wonderful and he will clearly be missed by so many.

Potential Section 8 Program Changes

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I am excited to share with you all the great news regarding the legislative successes that we’ve had so far this year. Let’s begin on the local front. We are tackling the local problem with the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program, and working closely with Long Beach Vice Mayor Rex Richardson to streamline the program to make important changes. The current recommendations include the following: streamlining the Housing Choice Voucher inspections, waiver of certain permits and inspection costs for apartment owners who accept the Housing Choice Vouchers, and creating a damage mitigation fund to provide financial assistance to landlords to mitigate damage caused by tenants during their occupancy under the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The last and maybe best improvement is to make vacancy payments to landlords to hold units while the landlord is going through the approval process.

These potential changes will make the Section 8 program one that all landlords should be looking at. Here’s why this is such an important achievement. The Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) has been struggling for years and has desperately needed some attention. The staff and Board of AACSC helped to identify issues that have sidelined the program. AACSC worked with the City and together are working on resolutions that will help both landlords and tenants. More important than this is that it demonstrates once again that AACSC can be very effective in improving the business environment for landlords and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

On the State front, members of AACSC’s legislative committee and our Executive Director, Johanna Cunningham, traveled to Sacramento and with our lobbyist, Ron Kingston, spent several days meeting with and educating members of the State Senate and Assembly on the merits of various proposed bills they will be considering this year that will directly affect the rental housing industry. The most egregious bill that we lobbied against was AB 1506, a bill to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, which is our main legislative protection against runaway statewide rent control laws. Our efforts helped force the bill’s author (Bloom) to remove the bill from consideration for this year. (He plans to reintroduce it again and we will need to continue to be ready to respond.)

I also think it’s important for you to know that the AACSC members who made the trip to Sacramento did so at their own expense. These passionate individuals feel so strongly about our industry that they are willing to sacrifice their time and money for your benefit. We all owe them a sincere Thank You! One of the main reasons that we were successful was that our lobbyist, Ron Kingston, had us so well prepared. Ron provided us with concise summaries of every bill that we discussed in our meetings. He arranged all the appointments with the legislators and gave us detailed background information on every legislator we met with. We knew our stuff in those meetings and it paid off. Ron did a terrific job for us, and we’re lucky to have him. That’s all for now. Thanks for your continued support.

November 8, 2016, State Propositions Review

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The Apartment Association takes positions on State and local voting measures that impact the rental housing industry. This November, there are 17 State propositions, but only one of which will have an impact on rental housing. That ballot measure is Proposition 51, which authorizes $9 billion in general obligations bonds for school construction and modernization. The Apartment Asso ciation supports the measure, not only because the measure is necessary to fix and modernize California’s broken public schools, but it also takes a common-sense approach to paying for the construction by using bonds instead of local parcel or property taxes. The Apartment Association is not taking a position on the other 16 State propositions because they are unrelated to the rental housing industry.

The following are descriptions of each of the statewide propositions to be voted on, on November 8, 2016:

1. Proposition 51: Authorizes $9 billion in general obligation bonds for school construction and modernization:
SUPPORT.
2. Proposition 52: Requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to amend laws that require hospitals to pay fees that are used for obtaining federal matching funds for Medi-Cal.
3. Proposition 53: Requires voter approval for the State to issue more than $2 billion in bonds to finance a single project.
4. Proposition 54: Requires bills to be in print for 72 hours before being acted upon in the Legislature.
5. Proposition 55: Extends Prop. 30 (of 2012) income tax rate on high earners for an additional 12 years.
6. Proposition 56: Increases the tobacco tax by $2 per pack.
7. Proposition 57: Requires judges, instead of prosecutors, to determine if criminal defendants under 18 years of age should be tried in juvenile court.
8. Proposition 58: Amends 1998’s Prop 227 to allow public school students who speak limited English to be taught in languages other than English.
9. Proposition 59: Seeks voter opinion on whether the Legislature should use whatever influence or power it has to overturn the Citizens United decision, which prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by nonprofit corporations.
10. Proposition 60: Requires adult film performers to use condoms.
11. Proposition 61: Prohibits the State from paying more for prescription drugs than prices paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
12. Proposition 62: Repeals the death penalty, and replaces it with life without the possibility of parole.
13. Proposition 63: Prohibits the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines; requires background checks for ammunition purchases; requires lost or stolen guns to be reported to law enforcement.
14. Proposition 64: Legalizes marijuana use beyond medicinal purposes, and institutes a tax on marijuana sales.
15. Proposition 65: Redirects money collected by retail stores from selling carry-out bags to a fund administered by the Wildlife Conser vation Board.
16. Proposition 66: Sets time limits on State court death penalty reviews, and requires appointed attorneys who take non-capital appeals to accept death penalty appeals.
17. Proposition 67: Referendum to overturn SB 270: the plastic bag ban.

Free Federal and State Compliant Labor Law Posters to AACSC Members

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Free Federal and State Compliant Labor Law Posters to AACSC Members

Some of the statutes and regulations enforced by agencies within the Department of Labor require that posters or notices be posted in the workplace. Failure to post required state and federal employment law notices can result in fines up to $17,000.  As regulations change often (in California minimum wage goes to $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2016) it is good practice to update your posters annually.  This requirement affects every employer, regardless of size.

AACSC is making Federal and State compliant labor law posters available free of charge to members.  Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and indicate the number of posters your business will need.  Your request will be fulfilled by Colony-West Financial Insurance.  Contact George O'Hara at Colony-West at (714) 476-3934 with questions.

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(562) 426-8341

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